Sharing substance file with client?

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rohMizuno Polycount Sponsor
Now that substance painter is the main texture tool for a large number of game artists, something new have been happening: clients don't ask for Photoshop files anymore, instead, they ask for the substance file.
I am not here to complain and I have zero problems on sharing my workflow, but I can't help but fell naked every time I trow a .spp file on dropbox with all my smart materials and smart masks that make me look so special to the eyes of the client. 
And after enough files are sent out, it would not be a hard task for them to roughly replicate my style and make me almost obsolete. Of course it would always be missing that extra love that the artist can do better than any software, but still..
Do that worry you? Or maybe I am just another insecure artist?


  • EarthQuake
    You are more than the information saved in your substance file.

    This is sort of a common thought that artists have though, it's part of the whole impostor syndrome thing. Oh crap, what if they figure out my secrets and replace me?

    The buttons that your press or the smart materials that you make are not your skills, your skills are fundamental, your taste and judgement can not be automated.
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm greentooth
    specify it in the contract if you share substances at all, and if you do, which parts are sbs and which are sbsar.
    If you give away a considerable amount of work (e.g. generators) that could otherwise be re-used for a different client, then you should charge extra.
  • Simplejay
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    Simplejay triangle
    On the other side of this, I find .Spp are great when dealing with other artists submitted work.  They are fast all in one packages, which i can check in seconds, with very little hassle, and make the process so much easier.  it creates a really nice standardized baseline for submitted/archived work, which saves soooooooooooooo much time.
  • radiancef0rge
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    radiancef0rge Polycount Sponsor
    I've been on the receiving end of outsourced assets, without source files we can't make any corrections or modifications. 
    There are lots of examples where changes have to be made in house and without source sometimes content has to be re-made and we lose money on the asset. 
    This is true for SPP and Designer files. Unfortunately yeah they contain some thought process but honestly, if you're organized and efficient we'll probably use you more often, over 'stealing' your ideas. 
  • ZacD
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    ZacD interpolator
    Maybe it would be better to break up your "super" Substance files.

    Lets look at this scenario. 
    If you spend weeks making the perfect rock generator that can be used for any type of rock. You created this outside of work for a client. And you use it as part of a simple small asset that you maybe spent 2 days on. Should the client get a tool (or Substance file) you made from scratch on your own time, that you spent a lot of time on? I don't think so. 

    It might be better to break up that giant perfect rock generator so the client can only tweak the results further down the pipeline, changing the scale, albedo, details, etc, but they wont get the generator that can make anything type of rock.

    But on the other end, if you get contracted for a big project that involves making dozens of variations of tiling rocks, and you make a master Substance generator for it, if you were being paid by them that entire time, they should get the substance with it. 
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